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Colour woodblock print, oban triptych. Thirteen kabuki actors in various costumes sheltering from the rain under a tree (amayadori). From the right, right sheet: Matsumoto Koshiro V dressed as a masterless samurai (ronin, possibly Ono Sadakuro) with two swords running for shelter; Iwai Kumesaburo I as a country maiden (inaka musume) riding on a black ox; centre sheet: Onoe Eizaburo I as a young man (wakashu) standing in a translucent black haori coat holding an open fan; Nakayama Tomisaburo I as a lady standing with an umbrella; Segawa Michisaburo I as a shrine maiden (miko); Bando Mitsugoro III as a monkey trainer (saru hiki, possibly the monkey trainer Sarumawashi Yojiro) crouching down below; Ichikawa Hakuen I as an ascetic pilgrim holding a staff, (rokubu, possibly Otomo no Yamanushi); left sheet: Ichikawa Yaozo III as another pilgrim crouching below; Segawa Roko III standing above as a lady in a black summer kimono holding a closed fan; Segawa Michinosuke as a young maiden with long sleeves (furisode) standing with an open umbrella; Sawamura Gennosuke I as an attendant from Kashima Shrine (Kashima no kotobure) crouching down in a black 'eboshi cap, his stick tied with sacred paper (heihaku) carried behind; Ichikawa Omezo I as a man, standing, holding a black summer 'haori' coat; and Arashi Sanpachi I as a footman (yakko) with a straw hat, holding a black lacquered box.
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- Segawa Michisaburo I took that name in the 11th month of 1801; if this triptych was published before that date then he would have been known as Segawa Kikusaburo II.
The idea of strangers meeting beneath a tree while sheltering from the rain comes from the Buddhist concept that all such chance encounters are the result of one’s karma. The original Buddhist proverb is ‘Ichiju no kage, ichiga no nagare mo tasho no en’, (一樹の蔭一河の流れも他生の縁). The equivalent in English would be “Sheltering beneath the same tree, drinking from the same stream, all is the result of a former life.”). For a discussion of this design, and other versions of this theme, see Suzuki Juzo, ‘Ukiyoe Amayadori zu’ ko’, in ‘Ukiyoe geijutsu’, no. 100, 1991, pp.4-9. (Paul Griffith, 11/3/2010.)
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